Skip to main content

[More Conferences]

Alternative Test Tools In Action

In November 2004 I did a variation of the Keynote I presented at the Tools Fair. This talk and paper examines all the tools I used in a test session and tries to reframe the concept of a Test Tool, as any tool I use during testing.

Alternative Test Tools In Action Thumb Image

“A Test Tool is Any Tool that can help me, in any way, with my Testing.”

Alternative Tools, The presentation Alternative Tools In Theory Alternative Tools In Action Alternative Tools, The List

A related paper is Being Resourceful When Your Hands are Tied which was co-written with Danny Faught.

This page is the supporting page for a talk, and paper, on Alternative Testing Tools.

On various pages on this site you will find tools mentioned that are not part of the mainstream cannon of testing tools. I tend to think of these as Alternative Testing Tools. But I wanted to investigate what that phrase really meant to me.

Is an open-source testing tool like Bugzilla an alternative testing tool? If so, what makes it alternative. It is an alternative, but does that make it alternative? I wanted understand what I meant by alternative, because I had the uneasy suspicion that for me, bugzilla wasn’t as alternative as some tools I use. This does suggest that alternative may be the wrong adjective but as I have been using it so long I’m sticking with it for the moment.

So I sat down and thought that the best way to figure this out is to do some testing, and observe what tools I use, and try to figure out why I use them, then generalise and question my observations.

And the results are on this page. All the papers below are still in draft, but most are readable. Consider them in ‘pre-alpha’, they are not ready for beta testing, but if they provide some value and you can tolerate their obvious bugs then that is great.

We have 4 papers, Alternative tools in X:

  1. Alternative Tools in Theory
  2. Alternative Tools in Action
  3. Alternative Tools, The List
  4. Alternative Tools in Retrospect

And you can download the presentation slides as pdf.

The Presentation

the presentation as pdf

I only actually presented the first 5 or 6 slides, but the complete presentation acts as a summary of the information in the papers.

Alternative Tools In Theory

The Theory PDF Cover

This paper documents my thoughts on Alternative Tools, in general:

  1. Discusses the nature of alternative tools
  2. The personal test process
  3. Process tools vs Task Tools
  4. How to find tools
  5. Introducing alternative tools into your organisation and personal test process

Theory Mind Map

Alternative Tools In Action

In Action PDF Cover

In order to come to any conclusions, I did some testing. This documents the test sessions that I conducted, the tools used and makes various observations on the user of tools. Topics Covered Include:

  1. Installation Testing
  2. Monitoring Applications, Files and Registry entries
  3. Having other tools find defects in the AUT while you browse
  4. Easy environment maintenance and automation
  5. Using Screenshot tools in conjunction with Clipboard tools to have a robust, cheap and failure resilient test log
  6. Session based testing
  7. Statistics, the easy way, and an alternative to Excel
  8. Over 20 alternative tools used

Alternative Tools, The List

The List PDF Cover

  1. A summary list of tools used in the sessions,
  2. Detailed descriptions of each of the tools,

[List of Conference Talks]